Celebrating 20 years at Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries

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July 06, 2020 By Amy Morgan

Building Pathways out of Poverty through the Love of Christ

When you think of Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries (HCDBM), you would be right to envision an organization that coordinates food and necessities for the poor. But you would be mistaken if you believe the mission ends with feeding the hungry. Far from it. This unique and effective ministry not only meets practical needs, but also the deeper underlying issues that keep people in the grip of poverty.

Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries  is celebrating its twentieth year. “As it turns out, it will definitely be a memorable year as we serve the community through the Covid-19 crisis. We look back and are so grateful to the thousands of donors, volunteers and church leaders who help make HCDBM what it is today,” reflects Agnes Hubbard Co-Founder and Executive Director.

From the beginning, Agnes and her husband and co-founder of the nonprofit, David Hubbard, began partnering with churches to ground their efforts in the gospel, sharing the love of Christ while providing physical sustenance. Agnes explains, “We know that for there to be true transformation in the lives of those who have been in persistent poverty, it takes more than a box of food.”

Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries’ 40,000-square-foot warehouse and offices stand among rolling hills in Boerne.
Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries’ 40,000-square-foot warehouse and offices stand among rolling hills in Boerne.

Humble Beginnings

It all started when God sparked a vision the hearts of the founders. David recognized there were few resources for those in need in the Hill Country and most programs centered on material things. The Hubbards were offered an 8-by-10 used cooler and despite the timing being less than ideal, the Hubbards stepped out in faith to accept God’s call. Another friend volunteered her garage to house the fledgling ministry and a $5,000 gift from their church paid for a truck. “Within four weeks, we had a location, a cooler and a 20-foot Ryder truck—God was lining everything up,” Agnes says. “It was a clear signal from the Lord for us to say yes to God's call.”

Fast forward to today, HCDBM is now headquartered in a 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Boerne on 10 acres of land. HCDBM’S impact reaches across eight counties of the Texas Hill Country to reach the poor with Christ’s love. The staff of 24 now manages more than 4,796 volunteers and HCDBM serves more than 50,000 through its combined programs.

Its platform has enabled them to take its existing programs and mobilize quickly to react to the dramatic spike in people needing help because of the Covid-19 crisis. Although they are meeting critical basic needs, they keep relationships and the gospel central in everything they do.

We love David and Agnes’ heart for Jesus. We are firm believers in the philosophy they have adopted at HCDBM. While numbers are important, the people they serve are their top priority and at the center of every decision. One family at a time, poverty can beThe Rivers Team changed. Family by family, generational poverty can be eliminated. We encourage you to support the mission of HCDBM!” 

Judith and Dwaine Rivers, The Rivers Team 

Family Mentoring Resource Ministry

The unique Family Mentoring Resource Ministry is the nonprofit's core program and centers on partnerships with local churches. In 2019, the team served 713 low-income households (2,465 individuals including 996 children). HCDBM staff brings their toolbox of training, leadership development and case management support to local churches and partners in developing a sustainable relational outreach ministry infrastructure. Church-based mentors are matched with families. The mentor, the church and HCDBM’s case manager, work together in harmony to follow the family’s action plan to meet their goals. 

Two veterans cultivated a great friendship thanks to HCDBM’s mentoring program.
Two veterans cultivated a great friendship thanks to HCDBM’s mentoring program.

Mobilizing God’s people to meet the Covid-19 crisis

HCDBM’s on-going Emergency Relief Program is now seeing hundreds of calls a month due to the pandemic. When Covid-19 hit, the goal was to quickly develop a larger, more efficient distribution system for emergency food. “We are so proud of how every partner responded despite the challenges of church closings,” says Agnes. Church partners in San Antonio, Boerne, Bandera, Kerrville, Lake Hills and Fredericksburg added an onsite Covid Emergency Relief Ministry. The added benefit is church volunteers personally got to know families who were feeling helpless and uncertain of the future. 

A Stand By Me mentor and his mentee enjoy time together.
A Stand By Me mentor and his mentee enjoy
time together. 

Throughout the next days and weeks HCDBM bought additional inventory. They are on track to distribute $5 million in food and basic resources this year. HCDBM has also been able to provide resources for hot-meal efforts and large food distribution in addition to its Emergency Relief Program.

More than 3,300 individuals have been served by HCDBM over the last eight weeks, and more come in every day. Clients come from all backgrounds. The Covid-19 crisis has pushed people who were just making it to a crisis point. Case managers hear stories like these everyday:

Susie and her disabled sister are in their 60s and her sister, whom she lives with, is dependent on her. Susie lost her job due to the shutdown of the city. With upcoming surgery looming, she was at the end of her rope and worried how she would not even be able to pick up an emergency box of food. She explained how depressed she had been, feeling helpless and hopeless. Her case manager let her know the HCDBM team could deliver the box of food to her and that they were here for her. Susie began to cry with a mixture of thankfulness and relief from all her fearful thoughts. She told the case manager how grateful she was that someone cared.

Susie and her sister now receive a box of groceries, meat and vegetables every other week. She has regular encouragement and prayer from her case manager and is on the waiting list to enter the mentoring ministry.

Children in Poverty

A mentor and student celebrate graduation after enjoying the benefits of HCDBM’s Stand By Me program.
A mentor and student celebrate graduation after
enjoying the benefits of HCDBM’s Stand By Me
program.

Like the family program, Stand By Me Student Mentoring (SBM) is about relationships. SBM provides early intervention and opportunities for at-risk kids, K-12th grade, to discover God’s purpose for their life, grow in their faith and develop life skills to combat the destructive effects of poverty. The average length of matched relationships is five years, which is well above the national average of 14 months. The longer the match, the more positive impact on the child. Issues affecting children in poverty have now been amplified with stay-at-home restrictions, unemployment and community support systems shut down. SBM students can attend a seven-week Summer Leadership Academy (SLA). The program is seeing these children’s lives transform.

We invite you to visit HCDBM and expose yourself to their work and to their team. Schedule a tour. Make yourself aware that poverty does indeed exist all around us. Roll up your sleeves and volunteer. The Rivers TeamIt will be the best decision you have made in a long time.” 

Judith and Dwaine Rivers, The Rivers Team

Children like *Joseph, a teenager who struggled with anger from abuse, first from an alcoholic father and then a stepfather. Initially he sought acceptance with a group of undesirable friends, but once his mother entered him in Stand By Me, Joseph was matched with Peter who provided kind, consistent wisdom and a good example. Things for Joseph began to change. In the last two years, Joseph has participated in the Summer Leadership Academy where he accepted Christ as his savior and was baptized.

Joseph wrote in his SLA journal last summer: “My home life is still tough,” he says, “but I now feel I have a Father in heaven who supports and loves me—and with that, I can hold on.”

“The Stand By Me Ministry is making an impact on these kids and catching them before we lose them to life-changing consequences,” states Roger Gonzales, Mentoring Director. “Our SBM 12-year average graduation rate is 97 percent versus the national average for persistently poor children of 67 percent.”

Community Resource Ministry

HCDBM's leadership believes in the spirit of Christian sharing and partnership. HCDBM provides at no cost, almost $2 million per year in resources such as food, clothing and personal hygiene to area church partners, nonprofits and civic groups who benefit by stretching their limited budgets with items they do not have to purchase themselves.

During a Family Mentoring Ministry visit, a mentor and mentee unload groceries together.
During a Family Mentoring Ministry visit,
a mentor and mentee unload groceries together.

Grateful for 20 years of ministry

“We see miracles every day as families break the grip of poverty on their lives. The real treasure coming through the door is the Christian who is going to love on that person and have a relationship with them,” Agnes says. “It is more important than ever for the local church to be the central force in poverty alleviation for those in need in their communities.” HCDBM invites you to join the mission as they move into the next 20 years working to break the cycle of poverty and need through the love of Christ.

It is important to note that HCDBM is currently fundraising to add an 8,000-square-foot training center that will serve its expanding case load of families and church partners and provide year around youth programs.

*At The Beacon, we respect everyone who comes to these ministries for help. Many are working toward a fresh start in life. So, while their stories are true, the names have been changed to protect their privacy

HCDBM Logo

Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries
www.hillcountrydailybread.com
234 W. Bandera Road, #133
Boerne, TX 78006  (830) 755-5200

Be A Light.

Discover. Contact the ministry to learn how you or your church can become involved. Visit. Schedule a tour to learn more. Volunteer. Train to be a mentor or complete a project. Support. Consider giving monthly or perhaps designate a gift for the new training center. Pray. Pray for additional mentors to step up and for the ministry to continue to change lives. 

Story Made Possible By:

Judith and Dwaine Rivers
Judith and Dwaine Rivers

With more than 60 years of combined real estate experience, we are excited to serve you in buying or selling your home in the Texas Hill Country. We have a deep understanding of both residential and ranch properties. We work hard for clients seeking acreage and ranch properties, as well as high-end residential real estate. Together we offer gifting in home staging, ranching expertise and commitment to customer service. We care about our community. We give. We volunteer our time. Give us a call. Let’s have coffee and talk about your dreams. 

The Rivers Team Logo

The Rivers Team/Phyllis Browning Company
Judith Rivers Cell:  (210) 393-3231
Dwaine Rivers Cell:  (210) 889-3652
www.theriversteam.com

Written by

Amy Morgan

Bachelor's degree in Journalism from TCU. Columnist for the Medical Gazette. Worked in Medical Marketing and Public Relations for 5 years before working as a pharmaceutical representative for 3.


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